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Albany History, 1777 to 1861

defiance, union, growth


old city hall
[Old] City Hall, Philip Hooker, architect
built 1829-1831, destroyed by fire 1880
white marble, gilded dome, $80,000 cost
(Munsell, Annals, v5 p259, v9 pp188, 230)
Albany Historic Post Card Series, Nr. 11
courtesy, Archives and Collections, The Albany Academies

"At five o'clock we came in sight of Albany, having passed several small villages and landing places on the way and rapidly approached the town. The appearance presented by it was interesting, and full of promise. The slope of the western bank, on which it stands, represents a city rising upward from the shore of the river to an elevated ridge of land, and the number of towers and domes scattered among the general mass of dwellings one of them, that of the City Hall, having its surface gilded, and several others of a burnished and dazzling white, being overlaid with plating of zinc and tin, gave to the whole a very brilliant aspect." (traveler J. S. Buckingham, 1838, in Munsell, Annals, v9 p284 view and download)

from the Revolution to the Civil War

Albany was one of the nation's most populous and important cities. A stable mixture of old Dutch and New England settlers, with substantial numbers of other European nationalities, a strategic commercial location, and from 1797 the state capital, Albany flourished as a gateway to western settlement and a hub of financial development. From the brothers Stephen and Philip Van Rensselaer, to William James and James Kent, its citizens left indelible marks on the pages of history. This site endeavors to describe the city and its leaders in this period.

This site is database-driven. The student will select items from five database categories: sources, property, people, chronology, and archives. The topics page is for articles and supplementary information related to the period. Use the top menu for all selections.

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© John McClintock, 2012-2018, Albany, New York
General citation: John McClintock, albanyhistory.org, 2018